US Republicans Claim American Muslims Cheered 9/11 Attacks

Republican presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Ben Carson claimed on Monday they saw a video of Arab Americans cheering as New York’s twin towers collapsed on September 11, 2001.

Within days of the 9/11 attacks, police, fact-checkers and US media had debunked the rumors that people were cheering from rooftops of Jersey City, across the river from Manhattan.

But Trump, the billionaire frontrunner for the Republican nomination, suddenly revived the story on the campaign trail Saturday, eight days after deadly attacks in Paris.

“I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down,” Trump told a rally in Alabama.

Carson, who is currently Trump’s top rival in the race, told reporters a similar story Monday.

Asked whether he had seen footage of American Muslims in New Jersey cheering on 9/11, Carson said “I saw the film of it, yes.” Pressed which footage he saw, he said “the newsreels.”

ABC News published a video of Carson’s remarks in Nevada.

“There are going to be people who respond inappropriately to virtually everything. I think that was an inappropriate response,” Carson said of the cheering.

“I don’t know if on the basis of that you can say all Muslims are bad people. I really think that would be a stretch.”

The remarks, particularly by Trump, that there were large groups of Muslims cheering on the day of unprecedented terrorist attacks on the United States drew sweeping condemnation, including from George Pataki, who was New York’s Republican governor during the attacks and is currently running for president.

“Not sure what luxury spider-hole @realDonaldTrump was hiding in on Sept 11 but I saw Americans come together that day,” Pataki posted Sunday on Twitter.

Jersey City’s Democratic mayor, Steven Fulop, also called out Trump.

“Either @realDonaldTrump has memory issues or wilfully distorts the truth, either of which should be concerning for the Republican Party,” he tweeted.

Challenged multiple times by ABC’s “This Week” talk show host George Stephanopoulos, who argued that police said the cheering did not occur, the brash real estate tycoon stood by his inflammatory remarks.

“There were people that were cheering on the other side of New Jersey, where you have large Arab populations. They were cheering as the World Trade Center came down,” he said.

Presidential Facebook Poll: Carson, Trump, Others, Find Out Who Won

Republican Presidential candidate, Ben Carson, has taken the leads against seemingly unstoppable Donald Trump on the Facebook fans polls. Mr. Carson has surged to over 4.5 million Facebook fans since declaring his candidacy in May–and his aggressive campaign strategy on the social networking site could provide a window into how next year’s presidential campaign battle might unfold.

Despite the popularity and support Mr. Trump has got from his various TV series including a broad profile from his real estate wealth and fame, Dr. Carson has surged ahead of him with over 4.5 million Facebook fans, sending Trump to $.1 million fans. The Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton has just 1.7 million fans on Facebook.

According to Erik Hawkins, group director of Facebook’s global marketing solutions team, Mr. Carson is “the most active candidate on Facebook in terms of paid and organic activity,” he said. “They’ve made it a core part of their strategy. Most of the candidates have only dipped their toes if anything.”

Confirming the polls, Mr. Ken Dawson who runs digital marketing for Mr. Carson, said the campaign has already run 240 different ads on Facebook alone–some nationally but mostly focused in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, the states where the first four Republican primaries will be help in early 2016.

“Those ads have ranged from carrying messages designed to introduce the still-relatively-new candidate to voters, to those meant to encourage fundraising to straight up get-out-the-vote messages. As part of that effort, Mr. Carson is running many 10-to-15-second video ads on Facebook. Carson even regularly goes on Facebook himself and interacts with potential voters—a move Mrs. Clinton has also tried on a few occasions,” he said.

Credit: Vanguard

Muslim Groups Call For Ben Carson To Withdraw Presidential Bid

U.S. Republican candidate Ben Carson has been slammed by rival politicians and the country’s largest Muslim advocacy group after saying that a Muslim should never be elected as president of the United States.

“I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that,” Carson, who is a Christian, told CBS’s Meet the Press programme on Sunday.

The U.S.-based Muslim advocacy group Council on American-Islamic Relations has now called for Carson to leave the Republican race. “It’s beyond the pale and he should withdraw,” Ibrahim Hooper, the group’s spokesperson, told Al Jazeera.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Democratic presidential candidate, also criticized Carson’s remarks. “You know, this is the year 2015,” he said. “You judge candidates for president not on their religion, not on the color of their skin, but on their ideas, on what they stand for.”

Sanders went on to tweet that it took the U.S. “too long to overcome the prejudice against electing a Catholic or an African-American president.”

The country’s first-ever Muslim congressman, Keith Ellison, also criticized the comments as “fear mongering” in an attempt to win more voters, saying they are “out of touch with who we are as a people.”

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